[“The function, the very serious function of racism, is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining, over and over again, your reason for being. Somebody says you have no language, so you spend twenty years proving that you do. Somebody says your head isn’t shaped properly, so you have scientists working on the fact that it is. Someone says you have no art, so you dredge that up. Somebody says you have no kingdoms, so you dredge that up. None of that is necessary. There will always be one more thing.” -Toni Morrison]
Wow. I swear, every time Toni Morrison opens her mouth, truth that cuts to the core falls out.
This quote resonates with me because so much of what I want to happen here has to do with removing a lot of the racist assumption about history in so that others can just get on with it. Even if you don’t like what I write, the images, links, books, and resources are still here to link to, rather than constantly being bombarded with and distracted by demands for “education”, “proof” that racism exists, or anything else anyone might need it for.
Whether you’re writing, making visual art, working in education, or just trying to have a conversation, it’s my hope that this blog might help remove some of the distractions of racism as defined above, and do your thing.
If you want to hear the entire program from which this quote comes, Portland State released the audio via Soundcloud, and I’ve posted a downloadable transcript on my site.